Oskaloosa.com

Local News

May 3, 2013

Breaking Down Walls

(Continued)

“We invite people to post positive comments,” Mackey said. “It’s a good way to spread the love, as well as raise awareness.”

In reflecting on the project, Mackey said it was “powerful” for all involved.

“It’s just been a really eye-opening experience,” she said.

Matt Wagner, instructor of digital communication at Penn, said the Social Media class is now in its second year at the university.

Outside of cyber bullying, Wagner said students had the chance to learn about social technology itself, as well as how journalists and public relations professionals use it in the class. The idea of how social media can build community was also highlighted in the class, he said.

Regarding cyber bullying in general, Wagner said many of those who are the victims of cyber bullying experience severe depression because of it. Wagner said he believes technology makes it easier to bully and that, in a lot of ways, cyber bullying hurts more than face-to-face bullying.

When asked if people are more inclined to write negative comments online, rather than in person, Wagner said consequences of what is said play a role.

“You have that screen that separates you from actually having to deal with the consequences,” explained Wagner.

When it comes to the Break the Wall project, Wagner noted that it came about after students were assigned to create a social media campaign of their choosing. Wagner said he “was excited that they were motivated about something and that they wanted to do it.”

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.

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